Tom Daley launches Pride collection for an incredible cause

Promotional photo of Tom Daley wearing his Pride collection

Olympic diver Tom Daley has launched an LGBTQ+ Pride-themed clothing collection to raise money for queer refugees and asylum seekers.

The avid knitter released the colourful line on his fashion label Made With Love on Friday (27 May) with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to Rainbow Railroad.

The global NGO has been a lifeline for countless queer folk fleeing from state-sanctioned scenes of violence, prosecution and death, including both Chechnya’s cruel “gay purge“.

After Taliban fighters stormed Afghanistan last year, Rainbow Railroad has sought to relocate vulnerable LGBTQ+ Afghans fearful of barbaric Sharia law death penalties.

In creating the capsule collection, which ranges from pastel pink hoodies to aggressively cropped tops with “love” printed on them, Daley said he feels “grateful” to live day-to-day without a looming sense of fear.

Not every LGBTQ+ person in the world has this privilege, however, he stressed.

“I’m grateful to live in a country where I don’t have to fear for my life,” Daley said in a statement. “But that’s not the same for our LGBTQI+ family around the world who face violence and oppression simply because of who they are.

“As an athlete, I’ve visited countries where it’s illegal to be me, but protected by the international rules for competing athletes.

“Every time I go, I think about people like me in that country that either can’t live authentically or are at danger because they are.”

Tom Daley, 28, launched the knitting kit brand Made With Love in November 2021 after he casually started knitting during the Tokyo Olympic Games. As everyone does.

The Team Great Britain gold medalist brought out his needles and wool as he watched the women’s three-metre springboard final, only to do so again the following day.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, knitting and crotcheting became the only thing keeping him “sane” he said. It was that or sourdough bread, we guess.

He’s since used the brand, which sells knitwear how-tos and supplies, to raise money for charitable causes such as The Brain Tumour Charity in memory of his father, Robert, who passed away because of complications caused by brain cancer.

In raising money for Rainbow Road, Daley praised the “incredible” efforts of the Toronto-based organisation.

The group worked together with Canadian government officials in 2017 to develop a program to evacuate dozens of queer people from the pogrom in Chechnya.

“It’s awful that they’re even needed,” Daley said, “but I’m glad they’re doing incredible work.”